Enable2 bring more than language support services to Shelter Sheffield clients

22 Jan 2019

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We provide interpreting services to Shelter in Sheffield and wanted to do more to help their clients who come to them because they are experiencing bad housing or homelessness. Often these people are struggling with difficult circumstances in their lives such as trauma and loss, and poor mental health that stop them being able to enjoy happy, healthy lives.

We wanted to provide something over and above Shelter’s support, that would have a positive impact on their health and wellbeing. So, we asked Shelter in Sheffield how they thought we could help, and they came up with the idea for Enable2 to fund four different trips to distinct, interesting places that clients would never normally be able to visit due to finance, distance or confidence: Chatsworth House and gardens; the Heights of Abraham; Yorkshire Wildlife Park and Go Ape.

A total of 63 clients took up places on the trips, offering them the opportunity to engage in activities that would improve physical and mental health and wellbeing through meeting new people, visiting new places, walking or undertaking other physical challenges.

It was difficult for some clients to be able to attend the trips and Shelter did everything they could to support those who needed extra reassurance with the outcome that the trips were one hundred per cent successful for all those who attended. All said they enjoyed the trips and that they would be interested in attending something similar in the future. When asked what would have made the day better, 40% of clients said they would have liked to have stayed longer.

Whilst other quantitative feedback wasn’t gathered, the increase of confidence amongst those clients who attended was clear. Five clients who needed support to attend their activity were later able to attend other Shelter events on their own because of their increase in confidence.

Comments from participants include:

“It was a fab day, helped me to overcome some fears of heights. It was something I would never have done myself and I would love to do it all again.”

“I really enjoyed walking round the gardens. I just want to say thank you to everyone who has helped me leave the house without my children. Thank you very much.”

“I most enjoyed going somewhere I wouldn’t ever get the chance to go. It has been brilliant. Thank you so much.”

“My first trip on my own. It built my confidence and I really enjoyed it.”

 

One participant, Claire stated that her trip out with Shelter Sheffield was the last time she had felt she had been able to have a normal day, i.e. get up, get dressed and leave the house. This demonstrates a clear link between activities of this nature and an improvement in mental health and wellbeing. 

Kat Jones at Shelter Sheffield said: “These trips and activities enabled and empowered our clients to try new things and had a demonstrable impact on them both emotionally and physically. This project has been popular and successful with our clients and we are actively seeking ways in which we can offer similar opportunities in the future.”